half-crown bets which he made on races. In matters
connected with the Turf he was a compendium of
exact knowledge, and his profession allowed him
ample leisure to make up his mind about likely out-
siders and nicely handicapped horses at short odds.
Another feature of the local landscape was Joey,
who worked on the roads, mostly at flint-breaking.
I never knew his real name, though I'd known him
by sight ever since I could remember. He was a
lizard-faced man and the skin of his throat hung loose
and shrivelled. I had named him Joey—in my mind
—after a tortoise which I had owned when 1 was a
child. Sitting on a heap of stones on the main road,
alone with the humming telegraph poles and the
clack of his hammer, he always saluted me as I
passed, but I never conversed with him and he never
seemed to get any older. He might have been any
age between forty and seventy.«. .
But I must hurry myself along a bit, for it is high
time that I was on the back of my new hunter.
On New Year's Day I was half-pedestrian and half-
bicyclist, with no idea of being anything else. Within
a week I found myself a full-blown horse-owner, and
was watching Dixon exerting himself with a hammer
and chisel as he opened the neat wooden case which
contained a new saddle from that old-established
West End firm, Campion & Webble. The responsi-
bility for these stimulating occurrences rested with
One morning after breakfast Miriam announced
that Dixon had something he particularly wished to
speak to me about and was waiting in the servants'